Theresa May requests Brexit extension to June 30

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May | Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

Theresa May requests Brexit extension to June 30

The UK prime minister said the Westminster impasse was ‘creating uncertainty and doing damage to faith in politics.’


4/5/19, 10:24 AM CET

Updated 4/5/19, 1:08 PM CET

LONDON — Theresa May requested a further Brexit extension until June 30 to give the U.K. time to ratify any cross-party deal she is able to strike in the coming days.

In a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk, the U.K. prime minister said that while it was not in the interests of either the U.K. or the EU that her country takes part in the European Parliament election scheduled for 23 to 26 May, she would undertake preparations for the poll as a “contingency.”

EU27 leaders will meet in Brussels on Wednesday to agree their response. Unless they agree a further extension, May’s letter acknowledges, the legal default is that the U.K .will leave the EU at 11 p.m. on April 12 without a deal.

In the letter May says the Brexit “impasse” in the House of Commons was “creating uncertainty and doing damage to faith in politics, while the European Union has a legitimate desire to move to decisions about its own future.” Her letter accepts the legal obligation to hold the election in the U.K. if the country is a member of the bloc on May 23.

The prime minister said her talks with Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, as well as a broader “open invitation” to MPs who want to respect the 2016 referendum result showed her government was “determined to bring this process to a resolution quickly.”

May said that if a Brexit deal were ratified before June 30,

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